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China plans $1.27 billion production hub

Wu's Harvest Seven Stars launches Chinawood

BEIJING

Chinese entrepreneur Bruno Wu’s Harvest Seven Stars Entertainment is linking up with the Tianjin city government to build Chinawood, a $1.27 billion film and media hub that will sprawl over a whopping 8.6 million square feet.

The project is aimed at luring U.S. and other foreign productions and will provide a hub for co-productions, which are exempt from Chinese import quotas. Some 35% of the investment is earmarked for film financing, the group said in a statement.

The initial build, comprising 377,000 square feet of offices, is nearing completion and will open in October.

Wu has been busily building bridges with Hollywood in recent months, having linked up with Jake Eberts and Justin Lin on projects this year and launched $800 million private equity fund Harvest Seven Stars Media Fund in February.

Chinawood will serve as a co-production film financing platform, a co-production service center with post facilities, a facility for 3D conversion and a distribution and marketing center.

Wu said that the East Asian film market was on track to be worth $10 billion by 2015, and China would make up half of that market, rapidly catching up with North America.

“It is crucial, as well as inevitable, that we offer the products and services to facilitate substantial cooperation between the two territories. This project is a significant step toward closing that gap by providing expertise and facilities in all areas of financing, legal, co-production, distribution, marketing, sales and infrastructure,” he said.

The group said discussions were under way with a number of other companies from around the globe.

Tianjin is a coastal city some 30 minutes from Beijing by high-speed train. It has been growing in recent years by aggressively attracting high-tech industries to set up there.

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